While on my mission I can be contacted at ashley.lynch@myldsmail.net

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Let Your Father Take the Lead

This week has been fantastic! We have seen miracles, met many awesome people and got to do service! We helped the Cabes chop up and move out cut trees in their little woods to prepare for the ward Halloween party! It was a blast, and Sister Holdaway even made a new friend.

 President Hinckley's counsel of "forget yourself and go to work" is completely true. We have been so busy and working so hard this week, and we have definitely seen miracles because of it. We have been in one of those cycling through times where the work just doesn't seem to be moving forward even though we are putting so much effort in, and that's really hard to face. BUT we are beginning to see the fruits of our efforts. We have found so many new people to teach and some of them are truly progressing! It is only the beginning of their journey, but they are making changes in their live and we have faith! That is by far my favorite part of being a missionary, helping people make changes in their lives so they can feel the joy of living the gospel. It is truly an amazing sight to see and humbling to be a part of.

Like I said, we have been finding so many awesome new people, ready to hear the gospel! The Lord definitely leads us where we need to be. On Saturday alone we met three people who actually wanted to listen to us. But even more than that, they asked us to tell them more so we did. We had fantastic lessons with them right there on their porches. I don't think I have ever seen people so grateful to receive the Book of Mormon. They understood that the unique message we share is how they can come closer to their Heavenly Father and know their Savior more fully. I love being the bearer of this significant message!

 Another amazing experience is Lorenzo, because he found us! He had met with missionaries in the past, and randomly one day he calls us out of the blue and says "Sisters! When are you coming back?" We made an appointment with him and looked up who he was later. He is now reading the Book of Mormon and progressing, slowly but surely, in the gospel!

Probably my favorite miracle from this week was Ed. We met him briefly about a week ago, and it was a bad time so we made an appointment to come back. We didn't feel like it was a very solid appointment, but he was there! and we had a great lesson with him. Yesterday morning we texted him to remind about church, and he let us know he would come except for he didn't have a ride. We had no trouble finding him one and he came for all three hours of church! He was all prepared and brought his Book of Mormon with him. Our ward was wonderful, and welcoming and he had a great time. He made mention to us at one point that he hadn't seen the inside of a church in 30 years! We then realized that Ed coming to church was more a miracle than we had originally thought. It made my day to see him open up and see him smiling and simply full of light after having come to church. This is why I am here.

I would like to leave you with a profound message that President Stratford shared with us at our Zone Conference this week. We talked about the many things we might have sacrificed to come out on a mission: time, money, family, education. And the list went on. We then discussed how when Christ came he did away with blood sacrifices and then only required a broken heart and a contrite spirit from his people. That broken heart is our willingness to submit to God's will. Everything that we have is our Father in Heaven's, the only thing that is truly ours to give him is our will. There are many things we face in life that we feel we are having to sacrifice for, especially when we are choosing to do the right things. But the only real sacrifice, or offering, that we can give our Father is submitting our will to be obedient and to have faith and optimism through the things we face. Our lives are a lot happier and successful when we give ourselves over and let our omniscient Father take the lead.

Have a great week! Just keep smiling!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Greatest Gift

This week has been full of meeting new people, like always! Like always, a lot of them don't want to talk to us but that's ok! It has been funny since it gets darker earlier, many people think we are crazy for being "out so late." It has been even better since the past couple nights it has been pouring. The best one this week is when we knocked on this woman's door and she answered sort of frazzled and said "why you gotta scare people like that?!" We looked at our watches, "Ma'am, it's only 8 o'clock." We also got some looks as we spent an afternoon biking between the houses on a long country road with some crazy wind. The elements do not stop missionary work! We have been getting some good laughs lately. Among all the people who think we are crazy, simply aren't interested, or who are trying to convert us (that has actually happened a lot lately), we do have some pretty awesome contacts.

Last night was especially awesome. We knocked on the door and this man opened. We introduced ourselves and he was nice. We had a great conversation about prayer and started to teach him our unique message of the restoration. He was asking us a lot of questions and seemed a bit confrontational, but as we talked to him more we realized he was actually genuinely interested in our answers of how we know these things to be true. He expressed not knowing what to believe and we testified of the truthfulness of our message and told him that if he prayed about these things he would gain a witness from the Holy Ghost as we have. At this point he was tearing up, and we tried to set up a time but he said he would like to read the pamphlet first and we could come back and share more. He quickly went inside, and even though we didn't get to share our whole message I know something touched him. We will be back real soon!

I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, that he guides, helps us come closer to our Father in Heaven and teaches us truth. When people don't want to listen, or even tell us that what we are sharing is false, we can always rely on our solid and unfailing witness that these things are truth. And it is that same power that allows people we meet to feel the truthfulness of our message within a few minutes, despite our only average personal abilities. Our Heavenly Father will not leave us alone. When we have a question, He will answer. He will grant us with the evidence we need to have stability in this life and direction we need on the course back to Him. His spirit is one of the greatest gifts he has ever given us.
Continue to seek this guidance in your life!
I love you all, just keep smiling! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Miracle of Being a Child of God

District Activity

 This week was fantastic and full of miracles! But that is to be expected right? :)
The week started with meeting this awesome girl. First of all, she lives in a home that I have tried a lot in the past, not many seemed too particularly interested and those who did we were never able to contact. So personally I would not have tried because I figured I knew what was going to be the result, but my wonderful companion with no preconceived notions of our area felt the need to try that house. So we did, and we had an incredible experience! We met someone in the household I had never seen before and were able to teach her the whole first lesson. She was very engaged and was just taking everything in! At one point I asked her what it would mean to her to know that the Restoration was true and her response was, "Well, I already believe you." I was shocked for a second, but we excitedly told her about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray so she can gave a spiritual confirmation that these things are true. She just recently got a new job and texted us letting us know that the appointment we scheduled wasn't going to work, followed by "I'll keep reading a few pages of the Book of Mormon every night though." She is just the sweetest and the faith that she is demonstrating is incredible! I am excited to help her come even closer to Christ!

Something we realized this week is that Piqua needs more street lights! One evening when it was dark, we were trying a few houses in a neighborhood that isn't my favorite place to be at night. We received a spiritual prompting to leave that area after we knock on this last house. I figured at first that the prompting was for our safety, and it may have been, but it may have been in for us to meet the awesome people waiting for us in the neighborhood we felt prompted to go to.

Last week we met a sweet older man briefly at his door. The other day when we were in that area Sister Holdaway felt that we should go back. Well his wife answered the door, who is the sweetest lady ever, and invited us in. We had a great conversation about miracles she has seen in her life and hard times now that the Lord is helping her get through. At one point in the conversation she mentioned how normally at this day and time she would be driving with her husband to an appointment, but he went by himself today because a maintenance man was coming to her home. I know that it was no coincidence that we felt the need to knock on her door at that day and time.

Like other times, we have seen this week just how much God sustains our goals. We had a goal one day this last week to have five lessons. Well, we were able to have two lessons in the morning on people's doorstep, and we were feeling good because we had three lessons actually scheduled in the afternoon. All of them fell through, and our most promising backups weren't home. But the Lord always provides. Within the last hour of our time proselyting for the evening, we were able to have those three lessons on people's doorsteps.  Heavenly Father is so aware of our needs, and even with something that seems so insignificant as a daily goal, He helps us meet those needs.

This weekend we had the wonderful opportunity to hear from the Lord's chosen servants in General Conference, and it was another witness to me that the Lord is so aware of our individual needs and questions.  Even though there were only a few speakers compared to the number of listeners, there is an individual message and instruction for each of us in those inspired messages. We may experience miracles in our everyday lives, but like was said in conference this weekend, the miracle that we all experience is being children of God. I would encourage you all to ponder over the words that were given to us this weekend by our loving Heavenly Father.

I love you all! Just keep smiling!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fresh From The MTC!

Well, exciting stuff this week! It was transfers and my new companion, Sister Holdaway, got to the mission field this past Wednesday! She is just amazing, I love her so much!

It has been fun getting to introduce her to everyone and seeing her come to love the people we are working with. It is amazing working with a new missionary because there are no preconceived thoughts of "how things are," just a lot of adapting and being creative. It helps me open my mind A LOT. I am so excited for our time together, we are going to do some great things here in Piqua! I can feel it!

We have been working really hard, talking to everyone, and embracing a lot of awkward! And boy, have we seen miracles come from it! We have had a lot of awesome contacts, a lot of return appointments and some new investigators! I may be Sister Holdaway's trainer, but she is teaching me a lot more than she realizes about faith and simply trusting in the Lord. I love being a missionary!

The past couple days have been a huge testament to me of just how much Heavenly Father helps us every single day. He helped me feel worthy of this call, he helps us through hard things. He guides us, he helps us adjust to new situations. He gives us strength and confidence to face the day. If we have a worthy goal he will help us accomplish it. I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is constantly watching over each of us.
"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen." Alma 26:37
I pray that you all remember just how mindful God is of you

I hope you have a great week! Just keep smiling!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Heaven's Help

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Eat Uncomfortable for Breakfast!

This week has been fantastic! Full of great days, not so enjoyable things and lots of awkwardness as usual. There were many times this week we walked up onto people's porches who really did not want to talk to us, or stood there awkwardly on the sidewalk waiting for people to finish their conversations so we could tell them about the gospel. It's just too important not to talk to everyone, no matter how awkward it is! (That's something I have to just keep telling myself, so maybe someday it won't be so hard) it always makes for good laughs. We were laughing very hard on exchanges when we were a visiting someone they had met previously, but she was sick, so we asked her little sister who had answered the door when we could come back. She went to ask and sheepishly came to the door and said, "She said...umm....she said never." Poor kid, having to relay that message. Haha

We got to do service this week! I'm convinced that when I come home I will be a professional painter! Well, I will really enjoy it at least!
As a lot of you have noticed, our mission has been approved to use Facebook for proselyting! There is still a lot to learn with it and it will take a little bit to get used to it, but we have seen some great miracles from it already! The biggest one was earlier this week. An Elder who used to serve here previous called us and was very excited to tell us that he had made contact with someone who was baptized in the Sidney ward. That doesn't seem like a huge thing, except that shortly after her baptism her family moved and all contact with her was lost. He found her on Facebook and was able to talk to her, got her address and we were able to meet with her this week! Definitely a miracle!

Something else that was really cool, that pushed me out of my comfort zone, was when the Chorister wasn't able to come to church yesterday and they asked me to conduct the music in Sacrament meeting! I definitely do not like getting up in front of that many people, but it was a lot of fun. And good practice for when I have to get up and give a talk next week!

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Just keep smiling!

We were both Sister Lynch for a day!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Lay Hold Upon Every Good Thing

Found a wall that matched me :)
Something that really stuck out to me from my studies this week comes from Moroni in the Book of Mormon.
Moroni 7
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ

This week there weren't any exceptional miracles or experiences, but we met a lot of wonderful people, did a lot of good, and were able to testify a lot of Jesus Christ. Not every day in our lives may be exceptional, there are very few that will be. I know that if we follow this counsel and are diligent in our search for those simple things that are wholesome and good then we will be able to find joy, because all good things come from God. Here are some of those simple joys we experienced this week!

I love you all! Just keep smiling!

Celebrating my Birthday!!
Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Our Sisters

Playing sports with our district!